Karzai Confirms Sacks of Money From Iran

Afghan President Gets Sacks of Money All the Time

In one of those official comments that underscores the bizarre nature of the Afghanistan presidential office, President Hamid Karzai confirmed recent rumors of Iranian “bribes” involving large sacks full of unmarked bills delivered straight to his chief of staff.

Incredibly the news isn’t so much that the notoriously corrupt Karzai government accepted “large sacks of cash” from Iranian officials, but that President Karzai insisted that this wasn’t a big deal and actually happens in his office all the time.

Karzai insists Chief of Staff Umar Daudzai accepts plastic bags full of cash on his behalf all the time, and that the Iranians alone give his office sacks amounting to around $1 million a couple of times a year. Other nations, including the US, do the same thing regularly.

It perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising, as the Karzai government runs almost entirely on largesse from foreign nations (mostly from the nations participating in the decade long occupation), but it is generally not assumed to be coming over in large sacks full of unmarked bills being handed to top officials. President Karzai insists the sacks of cash are used to maintain the presidential palace and are “a form of aid form a friendly country.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.